WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., July 13, 2021 – Novant Health announced today that it has been recognized for the second straight year as one of the “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion” by Disability: IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). The health care system received a perfect score on the Disability Equality Index (DEI), a comprehensive benchmarking tool that gauges an organization’s level of disability workplace inclusion relative to other businesses.
“Novant Health is committed to providing remarkable health care to its communities, which starts with creating an inclusive environment for all patients and team members,” said Tanya S. Blackmon, executive vice president and chief diversity, inclusion and equity officer. “Globally, people with disabilities represent over 1 billion people. This recognition signals that we are following through on the promise that everyone – including people with disabilities – is a priority at Novant Health and that extraordinary care is truly commonplace for anyone who steps into one of our facilities.”
“It’s so important to value the perspectives and life experiences of each person, including those with disabilities,” said Melissa Parker, Novant Health senior vice president, patient advocacy officer and executive sponsor of the Persons with Abilities business resource group (BRG). “I’m so proud of this recognition because it demonstrates how everything we do to create an inclusive environment is making a profound difference for our patients, team members and community.”
Novant Health received a score of 100% in 2021, an improvement from a score of 80 in 2020. Examples of what Novant Health is doing to create an inclusive environment for individuals with disabilities include the following:
- Using clear masks when communicating with individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
- Forming the Persons with Abilities business resource group to help understand the needs of persons with disabilities in our workforce, patient population and the communities we serve.
- Making communication aid kits and interpreter services available at our acute care facilities and clinics to help patients with special communications needs.
- Offering an internship experience for students ages 18 to 21 with developmental disabilities at Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center through a partnership with Project SEARCH.
- Launching a pilot program to provide volunteer opportunities to teens and adults with disabilities.
- Creating a companywide digital accessibility policy committed to making digital properties like the Novant Health website accessible to persons with disabilities.